Is your mother crazy? Does she have insane friends who are prone to kidnapping? If so, this film has some lessons for you.
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
Everyone’s mother is crazy, you will eventually be like her.
Don’t make phone calls to loved ones when you are angry. You will say something VERY STUPID.
Do NOT get married and have kids because it’s expected of you.
Siddalee Walker (yes, really) has a tense relationship with her mother. Sidda’s new play is coming out and during an interview she says some scathing things about Mother. Mother reads interview and flips her fucking lid. James Garner roles eyes and reads the paper, like a pro. Mother’s friends decide to have an intervention and kidnap Sidda (with knock out drugs and everything) and proceed to hold her captive and explain her mother’s life story. It is a tale of woe, and empathy is had.
I don’t think I liked this film very much. But, the weird thing is I can’t really tell. I didn’t dislike it while watching it, I don’t feel much towards it right now, but for some reason my eyes role when I think of it. It’s peculiar. The acting was fine, and the pacing was fine…something just didn’t sit right with me.
As regards my lesson, I think something we must all comes to grips with about parent/child relationships is: a) your parents are crazy b) you are already more like them than you realise. But the other thing to realise is that EVERYONE’S parents are crazy. That is not to say that your pain is less or more than anyone else’s, just try and get some perspective on the crazy. It helps.
When it comes to phone calls, it’s a bit like my mother always says about emails, “Write the letter you want to write. Delete it. Then write the letter you NEED to write.” Siddalee is going through some emotional roller coasters in the film, and she is upset and calls her fiance. She then proceeds to act insane and break off the engagement. Much in the vein of her mother. Put the phone down, and step away!
As for the final part of the lesson, Siddalee’s mom conforms to the pressures of her times (1950s/60s) and has a husband and family and she really can’t deal with it. It’s the root of most of the issues in the film. I feel this is valuable still today. Our society may not be as pushy as it once was with the married + 2.5 kids thing, but it’s still there, lurking. If anything it’s a more subtle bastard than it once was. Remember kids, just say NO.
My final thought on the film, Maggie Smith doing a southern accent is unsettling. Not that she does it poorly, I’m just too used to her being British.